What’s next for finance?

Juniper Park\TBWA's Jill Nykoliation explores the category's evolution through the lens of four opportunities that could lead to disruptive growth.



By Jill Nykoliation

Welcome to Year Zero.

The pandemic has put money matters for many Canadians centre stage, forcing finance to take a louder and more leading role in every industry and every household.

Broader cultural shifts are driving massive transformations that will impact the personal financial industry’s bedrock for years to come. Money is less tied to gender or life stage, a culture of “taboo toppling” is provoking a greater openness around money, and virtual advancements are transforming financial habits.

The pressure to innovate comes as outside industries bring fresh competition. Mindfulness and meditation brand, Headspace, created a Mindful Money toolkit that helps people tackle the intersection between money and mental health. And on the digital payments side, Square officially launched its own banking operations in March. Even tech giants like Amazon and Facebook are getting in on the action, racing to develop their own digital currencies.

These new threats will force finance players to rethink everything from investment portfolios to credit card rewards. To explore what will — more importantly what should — come next in this critical category, our global cultural intelligence unit, Backslash, released The Future Of Finance report.

This investigation was born from months of in-depth qualitative and quantitative research, strategic ideation, and collaboration among 25 Cultural Spotters from 18 global TBWA offices, including our very own Juniper Park\TBWA team. It explores the finance category’s evolution through the lens of four opportunities for disruptive growth – from how a brand communicates to emerging sources of demand.

Life outside the lines

Modern realities are unlocking new entry points and innovation opportunities for finance. Rising costs and a shift away from tradition are upending old money milestones, and a growing number of expenses are forcing people to be more careful with their cash. There is now an emerging demand for things such as fem-finance, survivalist savings, and death planning.

What if finance companies created personalized savings plans based on risks related to your occupation, lifestage, and environmental surroundings?

Breaking the money taboo

Money has topped the “do not discuss” list for decades – right alongside religion, sex, and politics. But a world obsessed with wellness is realizing that the silence around money isn’t making us well. In fact, it’s making us sick. Looking forward, transparency and candor will define a new era of finance. Emerging trends such as finance-tainment, financial therapy, and wellness solutions will help us forge a healthier relationship with our money.

What if banks paired customers with a resident financial therapist who could best relate to their specific needs.

Rich, redefined

The notion of “get rich quick” feels out of touch, especially in a world where natural resources are dwindling and inequality is rising. More ethical measures of financial success are disrupting the system. As money and values become increasingly interlinked, we’ll see the rise of niche-to-mass offerings such as Islamic finance, ethical ROI, and built-in givebacks.

What if credit cards structured their rewards programs based on ethical spending?

Bringing back reality

As digital currencies and e-wallets create new complexities, we’ll look to brands to keep us grounded. To help solve tomorrow’s problems, brands will have the opportunity to utilize reality checks, virtual vaults, and “phygital” advisors.

What if banks offered full-service advisors that could help you manage your cash, cryptocurrencies, virtual assets, and investment portfolios altogether?

The opportunities to create meaningful change have never been more widespread or urgent. It’s time for a fresh start.

Jill Nykoliation - HeadshotJill Nykoliation is CEO at Juniper Park\TBWA